What Is the Heart Icon on Instagram (2021)

Instagram is a social media platform with the most heart icons. Is it really a place of love and caring or is this heart trend a little oversaturated? Instead of likes and thumbs up, on Instagram, you can heart somebody’s posts, send them heart messages, or heart their comments.

What Is the Heart Icon on Instagram (2021)

To be clear, the heart symbol is not something Instagram invented. It has been used on the internet for many years, mostly by typing out the less-than sign followed by the number three (<3). Nowadays, we are surrounded by emojis, and hearts are probably the most commonly used ones.

Read on and find out all about heart icons on Instagram, what they represent, and what you can achieve with them.

Instagram Feed Heart Icon

The first heart icon you will see on Instagram is the one on your feed. Anytime you launch the Instagram app, you will see a heart icon in the top right corner, next to your Direct Messages. This is the “Activity” page. When you tap on it, you will see all the likes on your posts by your friends and followers, any comments or posts you may be tagged in, and any replies to any comments you have made.

Besides that, you will see the follow requests at the top of this “Activity” screen. Tap on that and see all the people that want to follow you as well as some follow suggestions. Simply tap on Follow next to their name to send them a request. You will get the memo if they follow you back, which will also appear on this screen.

ig follow requests

That is the heart icon on Instagram that sticks out the most, but you probably already know what it does. It is a very transparent and neat feature that keeps all your social interactions on Instagram in one place.

Instagram Comment Heart Icon

The next heart icon on Instagram that appears next to every comment underneath photos and videos. You can tap on the heart next to any comment from a friend to like it. If you want to like your comment for whatever reason, you can do that too (people don’t consider this to be cool, but we are no judgement here.) The “heart” button appears to the right of the comment, and the amount of likes the comment has received appears below.


Finally, you can like posts from other people on Instagram by tapping on the heart icon below the post or double-tapping the photo/video.

Instagram Direct Message Heart Icon

The heart icon on Instagram that gets a lot of hate (pun intended) is the one that is used in the Direct Message portion of the app. To like someones direct message to you, all you have to do is double tap the individual message. People complain about sending accidental hearts to total strangers, their crushes, or even worse, their exes, because there is no undo button if you accidentally “heart” someones message!

There used to be a heart icon located at the bottom-right part of the Direct Message screen. Thankfully, Instagram listened to the many complaints and changed this some time ago. Now, there is a sticker icon where there used to be a heart. You can still send a heart to someone this way, but you need to tap on it again, instead of just tapping it once.

ig stickers

The infamous heart is still the first on the list of stickers, but this change has made it much less infuriating. People are finally spared from embarrassing themselves due to accidentally tapping on the heart icon. If this has happened to you before, you know how bad it was.

Instagram’s Change of Heart

Heart emoji and symbols have existed long before Instagram, and they will survive on the internet even if Instagram doesn’t. They are a very important part of social interaction over the web, and people love sending them.

However, nobody likes sending anything by mistake, and sending an unintended heart is probably among the most awkward things you could do on social media. Instagram realized that in time and removed this heart icon, sparing a lot of people from further embarrassment.

What do you think about all this? Have you experienced a similar situation where you accidentally sent a heart to someone on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.

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